CEA Technologies has unveiled its prototype land-based radar version of its successful maritime-based Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA).
The prototype, dubbed CEA Tactical Radar, or CEATAC, has been designed for carriage by the Australian-built Thales Hawkei PMV, and can also be trailer-mounted.
“This is an Australian-developed radar on an Australian-developed vehicle, which is a great outcome for Defence industry,” Defence Minister Christopher Pyne said on Wednesday.
“It is fantastic to see two of our most high-tech, capable and innovative technologies brought together to meet a capability need.”
The Hawkei-mounted CEATAC has been developed as an indigenous enhanced option for the Raytheon/Kongsberg NASAMS-based air defence solution currently under development for Short-Range Ground Based Air Defence project, LAND 19 Phase 7B.
“From my perspective, this is just an excellent example of Australian industry contributing in a way we would envisage for a sovereign capability,” Merv Davis, CEO of CEA Technologies told ADBR at LAND FORCES on Wednesday.
“More broadly, it highlights CEA’s ability to take its architecture and repackage it very rapidly and very cost-effectively to deliver key capability.
“If you go back 18 months, Army came to us and said, ‘we have this requirement for a short to medium-range air defence system, by the way we’d like you to fit it on the back of a Hawkei or on a trailer, what can you do?’,” Davis recounted, pointing to the prototype on display.
“And to the engineering credit of the company, there it is, ready for trials less than 18 months later!
“It’s the same technology base (as CEAFAR on the Anzac class frigates), it’s updated, GaN (Gallium Nitride), much more powerful and more processing, but the architecture is essentially the same.”
CEA is also developing larger and longer-ranging radars for mounting on Army heavy trucks currently being acquired under LAND 121 Phase 3B/5B, and this configuration will also be offered as an option for LAND 19 Phase 7B and follow-on GBAD programs.
Completion of the prototype radar on Hawkei represents a significant milestone for the project, and has significant export potential for other SRGBAD operators looking to integrate a high-performance sensor.
The prototype radar will participate in an Army evaluation program in preparation for consideration by Government in 2019.